The "Alice Project"

A 10th Grade Honors English Tour of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"

“Big Picture” – End of Project Reflections December 7, 2009

Filed under: After the Deadline,Student Entries,Surveys — Christian Long @ 4:28 pm

Via SurveyMonkey, all students were asked — on this Monday after the student-submission side of the project has come to an end — to comment on a range of questions.

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Question 2.

Do you feel confident about the BIG PICTURE VISION of the project now that the PROJECT HAS ENDED?

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Here were their (unedited) responses:

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1. Absolutely, 100%, no doubt. At the beginning of the project I felt a little lost but as time went on I started to understand better. When I started to read the book I felt disconnected to it. As I looked through people blogs and commented on them I discovered that what I was reading meant so much more than I thought it meant. It influenced me on how to develop my own ideas and go as far as I can with them. As time passed I became more confident in my writings, beliefs of the book and ideas. I tried my best to look at others people views by reading the comments left on my blogs. I do wish I got a little more feedback from my piers though. But overall I believe that I really learned this book. I feel like I know this story better than any other book I read this year.

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2. I think I do see the “BIG PICTURE VISION” of the project. Whether I see all of it or not I cannot answer, nor can I say whether what I see is the actual vision or just a side benefit. These six weeks of blogging have given us students a serious amount of time to completely chew and digest Alice. I think we have easily understood more of the novel than nearly any other group of tenth graders can say of themselves. This is not mainly due to the amount of time given (even though, as you said on friday, it provided the inside experience), but I think it is rather due to the collaboration of ideas. If Alex A. was said to be the first to fully understand to meaning of the hookah, then everyone heads over to his post. Everyone now knows about it. EVERYONE understands the book better, and in this case by a significant margin. Time helps, but the sharing of ideas is what leads to progress. It is not the 300 years of time that separate our sciences from the 17th century, it is the roads, the couriers. The blogs are like the printing press, without them there would be virtually no collaboration. How to teach without these blogs already seems like a mystery.

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3. I think this was a very modern way to look at Alice and it was very trying. This project required alot of thought and as time went on we had to do more and more thinking. We were also able to help others learn about Alice as well as share our ideas. I enjoyed learning in a new way and I think that I learned more than I would have through traditional learning because I had to teach myself and I had to learn from my pears.

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4. This project was supposed to help us understand Alice better, without disecting the book. It allowed us to provide our own explanation of the story instead of the cookie-cutter school answer. This was a great idea to also help us learn how to think outside of the box. As I worked on this project, so many things came into my mind that I never would have thought about any other way. Ideas that my classmates were bringing up made me think about Alice in completely different ways. They made my head hurt, but in a good way, I really needed it. I can now take the thought processes used for this project to approach everything in life, and I know that is a generic answer, but what I mean is that I will now think of other stories or opportunities in my life in different ways. This project has truly opened my eyes to a different way of thinking.

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5. For the most part, although a few things confuse me. I know that the point of this project was so that we could discover Alice for ourselves, without being told the “answer”. However, I am not certain if there was a certain direction we should have aimed ourselves for. Some people wrote summaries, others discussed references in modern culture, and others offered their own interpretations of the story. For a long time I didn’t write any posts because I was sure if I was “doing it right”. I am still not certain if there was a certain aspect of the story we should have focused on. I understand that this was for our benefit, to discover Alice on our own, but I can’t help but feel that the result is a hodgepodge of everyone’s ideas with little focus or direction other than “Alice”.

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6. For the most part, although a few things confuse me. After working on the project for 6 weeks, I have definitely gotten a better sense of what it is about than I had at the beginning. I see how this project challenges us to think in ways we never have before, and write not just for a teacher, but for anyone in the public who happens to stumble across the site. That said, I, personally, do not thoroughly understand why this project has gotten so “huge,” both within the walls of our school and in the “real world”. Is a project in which students individually read and analyze a novel and then write about their findings so innovative? Is it the technology we used that made it so noteworthy?

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7. In the beginging I saw this project being just any other assignment Mr. Long would assign. As I got to research more on the project I learned a great deal of information that sparked my curiousity. By the last few days of the project, everything just seemed to come naturally and I could really type a blog with meaning. I believe as we got further into the project I learned how to get the feel of Word Press and “the Alice Project.” I also think that if I had been participating in the project for the full amount of time, that I may have understood this project better but I really do get the BIG PICTURE now.

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8. Now that the project has ended, I definitely understand the big vision of the Alice Project. Never doing something like this before, at first I was very hesitant and had mixed thoughts on the project. Yet, after the project had ended, I look back on the experience and I think what an amazing project it was. Unlike anything we have ever done before, my classmates and I were able to put our ideas, thoughts, opinions and arguements out there in a way we cannot do in the classroom. This project allowed us to be more open and enabled us to think more in depth about what we were putting on the blog. Having an audience, I put more thought and effort into the project because of audience as opposed to something simply written down on a piece of paper to please a teacher.

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9. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt! I believe this project was to allow us, the student, to discover the most important lessons, points etc. in the text instead of the teacher or “Sparknotes” telling us what is “the most important” or “a good essay question”. This project also allowed us to discover what our peers saw was interesting and a point to think about. Basically we saw a side of our peers that we would have normally never have seen in a regular class project. The fact that people outside of our school walls were reading and commenting also allowed us to get feedback from the “real” world and put our minds in a different mindset (since we would not be writing JUST for our teacher).

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10. I believe got the whole big picture of the project before and now that it is over, I still get the whole project. I understand most of the project now that it is over. I understand that we need to analyze alice and make blogs about it and comment on other blogs. That the condept that I believe I understand.

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11. For the most part, although a few things confuse me. I understand that the basis of this project was to analyze the book. But I don’t really know if we ever got to a conclusion with anything. Our blogs are full of questions and I don’t know if any of them have even gotten answered. I still want to know why he wrote this book. Why he put the things in it that he did. Who represents who. I see that we were suppose to try and figure these things out, but did they ever? I will probably go back and look and see, maybe write a few more, to figure things out.

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12. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt! At first many things confused as far as just getting used to using the tools and the technology related to this project. As I got deeper into the project some things began to clear itself up. It wasn’t until the final day, or even the day after the project finished that I finally got the “big picture”. The meaning of Alice alluded me at times, but I finally figured out that Alice was suppose to be a reflection of yourself. I had been circling that idea for a while but it hadn’t made itself clear until the end. I also see how this project was suppose to tie together into real life experiences. A big part of that was teamwork as well as communicating effectively. I feel the project only started to gain momentum, when it was nearing its end.

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13. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt! In the Beginning and for the first few weeks, I was confused on somethings, Like why are we writing blogs when we can just talk about story in class? Or why are we doing this?, it’s taking so much time and we could be doing other things. But now that the project is over, I definately see the big picture. I think that this was a great way for us, as students, to share ideas and what we thought of Alice in Wonderland, without being to shy to say it in person. I also think that Mr. Long didn’t want to tell us what this story meant because there is truly no right answer.

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14. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt! Of course the point of this project seems crystal clear in hindsight. I feel confident in what my team has done. I feel we really got the big picture in what we achieved, but sometimes I’m worried that it’s not enough by Mr. Long’s standards to just get the big picture.

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15. For the most part, although a few things confuse me. I feel like I sort of grasp the idea of the story and some of the symbolism, though, I’m still somewhat lost. Aside from the annotations, I don’t think that I could have figured out many of the interesting points, or “reading between the lines”. To be frank, I’m not very good at that. With the help of many search engines, I was able to do some research, and attempt to figure things out for myself. Though, I’m not confident in my answers, and I just wish I knew whether it was right or wrong. Yet, I like how we could analyze the story, and there wouldn’t be a right or wrong answer, we could write what we thought.

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16. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt! Now that the project has finally ended I feel like all the pieces have finally fallen into place. And I’m beginning to see the meaning through the fog of wonderland. I also think that we have gone far beyond what was expected. In reading the posts of others and creating my own I feel like out class has reached a whole new type of personal understanding about Alice.

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17. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt! I am amazed by how popular this project has become. I had a hard time at the beginning of the project. It was hard for me to come up with ideas for blogs. I read fellow classmates’ posts and that helped me to come up with ideas. About halfway through the project is when I really became interested in it. I finally realized why we were doing this. I understand the story so much better now. I was also able to question the story. If we had just read Alice without this project, I would probably not be interested in it at all. The fact that we had to write blogs forced me to think and question the story.

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18. 100%. If this project can generate enough from loads of random strangers from around the world who have jobs and families and hungry cats, then this project is a success. It can, however, be questioned if every student came out of this project with a greater mind, a conquering compassion and a burning curiosity that is never satisfied, but majority were shaped for the better. The students succeed in creating intriguing arguments and discoveries, and you (Mr. Long) succeed because we succeeded. There is no end to this project. This project will continue to spark interest to the thousands of weary nomads of the internet, which is another way this project is a success. If we were to write a book report, the paper would be the home to hungry bacteria inhabiting a landfill. The internet can never die. Never.

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19. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt! At the start of the project, I had major doubts as to how the project would come to be. Not anymore! I feel very confident in that the project has surpassed all of its original goals and expectations. The project has taught and will continue to teach Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for years to come.

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20. I’m lost like Alice. I honestly don’t see the point of doing a project on Alice. The book just isn’t appealing to me, and I understand it is a children’s book with everything hidden inside it… but why? I just don’t get it.

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21. Sort of. When “The Alice Project” began, I was overwhelmingly confused as to what “Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland” was talking about. I felt like I understood “Lord of the Flies” more than this story! Around week one of school, I grew tried of listening “Chase Your Own Rabbits.” I went on the internet to find out what the symbolism of a white rabbit actually was. Keep in mind, this was week one of the school year… I didn’t understand what the point of the project was, but did anyone? It started out as just a regular project, and out task was to get our ideas on “Alice” out to the world. After a few weeks it became clear that this was more than just something we had to do for English class. When we found out how many people were actually paying attention to the project, it became a much bigger deal. I worked harder, but I still didn’t understand why… I’m confident about “Alice” but not so with the Project’s Big Picture. I liked the project, but all I knew I needed to do was write about any idea that pops into my head. I was never 100% with the project.

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22. I would want to say yes, but I’m still confused. This project helped us learn much more than learning the information from someone else. Since we had to read and produce information to show that we know what we’re doing makes our brains go into gear.

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23. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt! When we were first told about the project I was a little bit nervous. When we started the project, I knew everything we were suppose to do, but I was just feeling uneasy about the writing part of it. Considering we really had no limits except it had to be about Alice. In the beginning I was too worried on being right or wrong in my blog, and especially since it would have our names on it. Later I realized there are no right and wrong anwers. It can be your own opinion about the story and what you think it means. Then, blogs became much easier to write. Im not saying I didn’t get stuck with ideas at some point, but the overall idea of the blog became easier.

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24. For the most part, although a few things confuse me. I feel that with a little bit more organization among the groups could have benefitted the group with the time we had. I think at the beginning of the project, some of us may have thought that this might be one of those projects where you do it for a few day then realize its not going to work. Soon, we all found out that it wasn’t going to stop, we should either make the best of it or waste the opportunity to shine in front of our peers. Many times we have thoughts or good remarks on stories, but do we ever get credit? No, not really because sometimes we don’t even get to express it. Through our blog, we got to put our names on our thoughts, thoughts that seem to be admired greatly 😀

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25.  For the most part, although a few things confuse me. While I am not confused about the ‘BIG PICTURE VISION,’ I do think the vision could be interpreted in different ways for different students. For example, one could say the purpose of the project was to help us understand the intricities of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Lewis Carroll. I would argue, however, that the project was less about the actual story but rather our ability to explore a story, no matter what story it was. Perhaps the project was also meant to take us out of our comfort zones and explore unknown territory as real people in the real worldwide web.

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26. Do you feel confident about the BIG PICTURE VISION of the project now that the PROJECT HAS ENDED? Absolutely, 100%, No doubt! Yes, I do well for the most part. I am very confident of what we did and I’m proud of the work we accomplished and the new things I learned, not just about thinking and analyzing, but about my teammates, the value of thought, and how important feedback and conversation is. What I’m not sure about is the reaction this will have from an outside view. I think the opinions are very divided, so who knows, but either way, no matter how the public evalutes our work and the big picture of this project, I’m very happy with the end result.

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27.”Absolutely, 100%, No doubt!”  Yes, I do feel confident about the ‘big picture vision’. The project was showing us that we can make ideas, form opinions, and talk to other students about them without the teacher’s intervention. I also think that the project made all of us feel more confident about ourselves, as well as build up our selfesteem. We feel more independent now, knowing that we can think on our own. That is what I think is so great about this project. Before, we thought that whatever the teacher said we should go along with, but now, it is the opposite. We are making the discussions, and the teachers (all around the world) are going along with OUR ideas. It really is revolutionary.

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28. Somewhere between For the most part, although a few things confuse and Absolutely, 100%, No doubt!: I don’t think there was any point in the project where I didn’t understand the big picture for the project. The first half or so I understood it, I just kinda put it off. Thats why I tried to make all my blogs and comments related to each other so they formed a big picture themselves within the big picture of Alice project 6 and the even bigger picture of the Alice project.

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29. For the most part, although a few things confuse me. I think that I’m mostly sure of the point here, but I’m not quite sure of the ulterior motive. I think that the objective was to help us develop tech skills that would be useful in the real world, and cultivate our understanding of how peer review works. I am, however, unsure of why we were thrust out into the real world when no other teacher has ever done anything like this. I’m not sure if by “no other teacher” I mean “no other teacher in the world” or “no other teacher to whom I have been a pupil,” but it’s certainly a new experience to me, if nothing else. Overall, I think I do have a grasp of the idea, but I’m not sure it’s that specific.

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30. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt!. Now, I can’t stop seeing allusions and references to Alice throughout the real world. When driving along I bug my family with the amount of connections I can identify. I think what Mr. Long said earlier in the year about not being able to “unthink” an idea really comes into play here. My big picture may be different from the big picture of another student but I think the fundamental ideals are the same. The picture is interesting.

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31. I feel confident for the most part, although I got a little confused along the way. When we first started this project, I was really confused about how this project worked. I was constantly asking for help, and I thought that I was supposed to know this stuff already. But, as we continued to make progress, our project began to improve and look better. Overall, I think that our project turned out great and I am wondering what comments others will leave on our projecct page.

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32. [Absolutely, 100%, No doubt!] I feel completely comfortable with the project and if it continued, I would do a great job. I understand all of the concepts and things needed to get done. It took me awhile, but I eventually figured it out. This was a cool project to express how we feel about the book along with other people’s opinions. The big picture is easy to understand because I’ve done it for a long time now and it just comes to me. I know exactly how to manage my time and come up with new ideas for blogs. At the beginning I wasn’t sure if I could handle all of this or now but I am now completely confident in the whole project. I wish it didn’t have to end!

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33. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt! I know understand what I was supposed to do, but it took me a while to understand how to edit and how to analyze the way i would like to and to get ideas. This project at first was very confusing because we were the first ones to do it and there weren’t any instructions we had to follow except of the number of blogs and comments and the length of the blogs. The big picture actually has come out to me even though it took me until the last week to really understand what we were trying to do and how it affected people. Also I feel more confident on how to write my blogs on when I analyze the book.

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34. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt! All of the blogs were intertwined with many similar goals and concepts proven or discovered. They linked to eachother constantly, reasserting every new idea and working towards a conclusion to the very mad world. I believe visitors will be impressed by the sheer content and creativity of each element of the entire blog.

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35. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt! I feel very confident about the outcome of my project. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I think that Mr. Long should do this over and over again. Not only was it a great way to read and analize the book, but it also was a great experience to learn about wordpress and bloging itself.

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36. In this project at first I didn’t really understand the big picture. As the project gradually went on I then started to figure out what the main point of this project was. Still though there are still things that confuse me. One of the things that confuse me is why is the whole world so interested in this project?

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37. Yes, I feel confident about the big picture vision of the project. While we were doing the project I probably wouldn’t be able to answer this question with confidence. Over the course of the project I was a bit confused on the overall concept of the project. I never fully understood why we were doing Alice. Once the project ended I was able to look back over the course of the project and see what we have all created. Everyone cam up with such great ideas and it made me look at Alice in Wonderland with news eyes. I do not think that it is just a kids story anymore. There is so much more to Alice and I am going to continue analyzing Alice even though the project is done.

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38. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt! I now comprehend Carroll’s work on a much greater level. My understanding and viewpoint have expanded greatly concerning Alice and the technology we used. However, I also see the project in much larger terms as a means. Specifically, as a means to create and explore new possibilities within a new realm of online classwork. We as a whole class synergistically set a paradigm for this new style of project. However, I hope that we are not the paragon and that others will develop even stronger work than this in new and more remarkable ways. Teacher and students, we evolved into editor and writers of a creation unseen and that cannot be unthought.

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39. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt! Of all things that confused me about the blog, The “Big Picture Vision” was never one. I understood from day one what both the purpose and the expectations were for this blog.

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40. For the most part, although a few things confuse me. I say yes, because the quality of work my teamates did is astounding. I’ve never seen anything like what they have done over the past 6 weeks, than over the past couple year that I have known some of them. I’m really proud of their work, and it was pleasure working with each of them. However, the part that makes me worry about our big picture, is that my contribution has brought us all down to some degree. I don’t like the feeling of having carrying this burden and losing the impact of our main idea, just because of me.

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41. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt!: I feel very times infinity plus 1 confident about the vision. As I stuggled through the project for the first 4 weeks and only started doing high quality work at the end, I see the potential that this had from the beginning. When we were assigned the project, I was confused as to how we were going to create an entire blog over a “children’s” story. As it went on others were enjoying succesful blog entries while I still didn’t get it. This continued to be the trend until the last 2 weeks. I hit a stride in my ideas and posts and everything just came to me. This happened with focus and drive and I realized what I could have done from the beginning. The idea from the project soon became a reality and I wish I could have done more.

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42. For the most part, although a few things confuse me. At the beginning of the project I was confused and scared. I couldn’t figure out what to write about, how to write it effectively, and how to use the technology. As the project progressed I became more familiar with the story and the project. I believe that my group’s blog is fantastic. It combines technology with a classic story. I had fun doing this project, even though I was reluctant at first. I didn’t want to ruin the already great story. My thoughts immediately went to “What could I have to say that hasn’t already been said by numerous people who were much smarter than I am?” but now I feel confident that what I discovered is important and great. Coming to these conclusions about the story were so much better done myself than reading what someone else had to say. My Alice Project turned out to be great because of all the confusion and chaos. Without that I wouldn’t have had the same opinions I have today. I believe that if anyone came upon our blog they would be impressed with the quality and quantity of my blog entries. I wanted this to be my best work and I feel like it is.

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43. For the most part, although a few things confuse me. Our page looks nice, clean, and quite professional. We have no picture of Alice, but I think it is a good break from the banal pictures on others’ pages. I, personally, changed a couple of the widgets to mix things up a bit. The movement of the widgets and addition of others helped our page have a distinct ‘personality.’ I feel confident that the topics that my entire group wrote about will never be ‘laughed’ at. The ideas that we presented are both insightful and intellectual. I do not like to say one hundred percent, because there is always room for improvement, but our group’s page is certainly close to that. We have multiple blogs that have received comments from people other than the students in our class. Many of these “outside commentors” are quite smart and insightful themselves. All in all, I would say I am 90% confident about our page.

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44. For the most part, although a few things confuse me. I am fairly sure that I understood the point of this project, but with Mr. Long I could be missing something. All I know is that I post my ideas about Alice. My ideas can be from reading the text, or ideas given to me by other blog posts. I was supposed to comment other blogs, which was difficult for me. I particularly would have fun with my blogs. If I could get one started, I could think of good ideas as I went on. I’m still confused on the meaning of Alice, but I’m starting to think that Alice has its own meaning for everyone.

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45. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt! I feel like I understand this project completely. Going into this project, I had no idea what I was doing or what Mr. Long was expecting. I knew that we were supposed to analyze Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, but that is it. As the project moved on i realized we were meant to be investigators, discoverers, thinkers, and dreamers. We have done what many other people have not. It was not until the project was over that I had realized what we had just accomplised. I took a step back and then I realized we were actually making something that people from all around the world are viewing and actually using. Mr. Long had been saying this throughout the project but I slightly ignored it. Now it all makes sense to me. Not only did i learn so much about the story, I learned teamwork. Working with a team is not always easy and during this five week project I had to learn how to be a part of this team for a long amount of time. I learned how to compromise, disagree and agree, communicate, and collaborate. Experiencing this project is good for me as i progress through life. I feel like I understand this project completely and it will never be forgotten.

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46. At first I was a little confused as to why we did this project and why we did it over this story ,but now I understand much better. This project was a great way to analyze a book in a fun way that also helped us learn about technology, while working on group settings as well. We could have simply read this story in class and discussed it daily without using blogs or anything of that nature, but you took it a step further. I still do not know why you chose Alice to do this project, I personally wish we would have done LOTF. Although Alice was a good story and helped us realize it is not just for children, I believe LOTF had many more issues to discuss and problems to debate. The only problem is that we would not have been able to have had our in class discussions, which is where I personally was opened up to many ideas I had not thought of before. Either way, both books were looked at inside and out just by different approaches, which was a nice change.

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47. I really understand the psychology of the project. I feel like an expert on the book itself now. The entire process has been enjoyable and I would be happy to do this on a different book. I would feel confident talking about the project as well as explaining the effect it has had on me as an individual. This project allowed me to explore the technology required to do this project well. It also allowed me to feel comfortable using technology anywhere. While allowing us to develop our ideas, without strict limitations, The Alice Project gave us the opportunity to create a blog that we are proud of. I am glad to say that I am proud of what we have accomplished as individuals, and even greater, as a class. We have inspired others to do the same. To me, that is the whole mission of the project: to display our knowledge, intellect, and to inspire others. So my response is: Absolutely, 100%, No doubt!

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48. For the most part, although a few things confuse me. I don’t really understand what you mean by the big picture. Hasn’t it always been a big picture? I am confident in the blog itself, I am happy with how it all turned out. It’s your wording that has me thinking I may not understand something. When you say big picture do you mean that we are happy with what other people will see publically without knowing us or our writing styles? If so then yes. I think the team did a good job with the blog and I wouldn’t be embarassed by it. I am confident in the efforts we put into making it and what the public will see.

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49. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt! At first I didn’t understand why we were working on such a large project. Soon, I realized why we were doing it and the importance the project carried. The project helped me, as well as others, understand Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland better.

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50. I do becuase I think that I know the international implications. I am in video production, so I know how we are showing this to conferences in Philadelphia.

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51. While I’m not sure what Mr. Long’s intent with this was, I feel that this hugely helped me with my analytical skills and writing style. I also see Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in a whole new way, other than the simplistic impression I had had of it before. It’s a good way to show the rest of the world exactly what we can do with a children’s book as well.

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52. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt! To me, the ‘big picture’ vision of the project was to create something that anyone from around the world could venture to, and leave with a substantial grasp of the text and/or its accompanying subjects (Disney’s alice, Carroll’s life, et cetera). I’m confident that my team was successful in this regard.

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53. Absolutely, 100%, No doubt! I feel very confident about the “big picture” of the project, especially now that it’s done. I was a little insecure about some of the things I did, but now that I go back and look, I see that it’s all done pretty well.

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54. Everything worked out quite smoothly. Everybody was able to write great blog posts, thoutful comments, and creative blogs as a whole. Teams collaborated nicely and everybody worked really hard.

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